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This week's newsletter is about the different sourcing models for cloud computing. While "the cloud" is often bandied about as the latest marketing buzzword, cloud computing actually has a commonly-accepted and well-defined range of meanings. We'll be examining some of the different cloud computing models and paradigms in this issue and in future issues of WServerNews.
But speaking of the future, who really knows what it will bring, right? On the other hand, geeks like to think they can PLAN FOR ANYTHING BY EXTRAPOLATING CAREFULLY ENOUGH:
When the average person hears the phrase "cloud computing" or storing your data "in the cloud" or running "cloud-based apps" they tend to think of things like Dropbox, Google Apps, or even iTunes. Is that what cloud computing is all about? Or are we just scratching the surface when we use services like these.
To help us get a better handle on what cloud computing is all about, let's start by considering the different sourcing models for cloud computing. By sourcing model, I mean who owns, hosts or controls the infrastructure that provides the cloud services you are planning to use. For example, the infrastructure could be owned, hosted or controlled by:
In addition, the infrastructure can be dedicated (used by you alone) or shared (used by others as well as yourself). In other words, the cloud can be private or public.
Private vs. public cloud
The distinction between a private cloud and public cloud is pretty obvious. A private cloud is your own cloud. You control it, and you alone use it. By "you" of course I mean your company or organization.
A public cloud on the other hand is owned and operated by someone else, a service provider, and you typically lease services from the provider on a subscription or per-usage basis. Public clouds are typically shared clouds from which anyone can purchase services ranging from cloud-based storage (think Dropbox or Amazon S3) to virtualizing your server applications or workloads by running them in the cloud (think Amazon EC2 or Windows Azure).
Send us your feedback
Does your company use any of these or any other public cloud services? Tell us what you like or don't like about them by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Private cloud sourcing models
But let's get back to private clouds for a moment. A lot of organizations prefer private clouds over public clouds because of one thing: control. After all, you own, host and control a private cloud. Or do you? Consider the following possible sourcing models for private clouds:
Self-hosted, build-from-scratch - You could deploy Windows Server and System Center in your datacenter to create a private cloud you design, host, control and own. Of course, that costs money, and it takes some gnarly IT expertise to build and run it.
Self-hosted third-party appliance - You could purchase or lease a private cloud appliance that is basically a turnkey solution that has Windows Server, System Center, and third-party software preinstalled and configured on a rack to provide various kinds of cloud-based services. Examples of such appliances from Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track Program partners include:
HP VirtualSystem VS3
NEC Private Cloud Solution
Dell vStart 200
Partner-hosted, co-designed - If you want the benefits of a private cloud but don't have the in-house expertise to manage it, you could design the solution together with a partner company and then have the partner host and manage the cloud. This could either be a build-from-scratch or appliance solution depending on how flexible or powerful a solution you need.
What's the big deal about private clouds?
But what's really the difference between having a private cloud and having a bunch of servers in a datacenter? From the perspective of the person consuming the services, the big difference in my understanding is that cloud services are basically perceived as having infinite capacity. You need more? Just take more! This differs from traditional datacenter computing where if you need more capacity you need to request it and then wait until someone finds some money to order another server which then needs to be installed and configured before you can get the additional services you requested. Private clouds thus have elasticity, something traditional datacenters don't have. And they can help your business be agile, that is, quick to respond to shifts in the marketplaces.
How can a private cloud create the perception of infinite capacity? By optimizing resource usage through virtualization and resource pooling. You need another SQL Server for your department? The old way involved procurement and provisioning which was costly and slow. With a private cloud however, you just spin up another virtual machine on the host cluster and you've got another highly available database server for your department.
I recommend that you download and read some of the solution briefs from the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track partners listed here:
These briefs can not only help you understand the benefits of a private cloud but might also help you realize that having your own private cloud for your company could actually be affordable.
Check out the Admin KnowledgeBase section of WindowsNetworking.com for tons of tips about different Microsoft Windows platforms:
Got tips you'd like to share with other readers? Email me at email@example.com
This week we have two small but really good titles from Cisco Press:
The Economics of Cloud Computing: An Overview for Decision Makers from Cisco Press helps you make intelligent decisions about cloud computing and effectively manage the transition to the new paradigm:
CCNA Security: Portable Command Guide concisely explains all of the CCAN Security 640-554 commands in one compact, portable resource:
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." --Jason Statham in The Mechanic
Until next week.
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Contact Michael Vella at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your conference or other event listed in our Events Calendar.
September 6, 2012 - Many smaller organizations are migrating to cloud-based antivirus, asset and network management to reap the benefits. Join Osterman Research and GFI Software for a new, educational webinar. Drawing for new iPad for one registrant. Register now!
Contact Michael Vella at email@example.com to get your webcast listed in our Webcasts Calendar.
Watch the online launch event at 8:00 am Pacific Time and learn about its amazing new capabilities in the areas of Virtualization, Storage, Networking, Management, Application Development, VDI, and more:
This series of articles written by Janique Carbone for VirtualizationAdmin.com covers Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V enhancements in networking, availability, storage, and other areas that enable multi-tenant cloud computing:
This article from VirtualizationAdmin.com provides an overview of how System Center 2012 helps to build, operate, and manage heterogeneous cloud deployments that include multiple hypervisor platforms:
This series of articles written by Brien Posey for VirtualizationAdmin.com demonstrates how to build a private IaaS cloud in which new servers can be created on the fly through a simple Web interface:
Veeam Software is an innovative provider of backup, replication and virtualization management solutions for VMware vSphere and Windows Server Hyper-V:
If outlined effectively, cloud service-level-agreements (SLAs) can help you get the most from your investment, specifically when it comes to performance and availability. Review 10 key principles to follow when evaluating cloud SLAs so you can be sure that all your requirements are met.
As the number of remote and mobile workers continues to increase, IT shops are running into more and more connectivity issues – especially when it comes to delivering their virtual desktops. Learn how WAN acceleration technology can resolve these challenges and improve the remote user experience.
With so many hypervisor vendors, products and services available today, it can be challenging to determine which one best fits your organization’s needs. This tip examines the top players in the hypervisor market and discusses key criteria you should consider when evaluating your options.
Protecting Windows systems is becoming increasingly difficult as threats continue to mature. In this exclusive malware FAQ guide, explore essential tips and tricks that can ensure successful rootkit detection, prevention and removal.
The crowd is in for a surprise when a Soviet era armoured personnel carrier shows off by driving through a mudhole.
NASA fooled by Martians. Here is what really happened when the Mars Rover landed. A funny ad by HP Singapore.
This "Star Wars" inspired hover bike flies on the pilot's intuition. It responds to one's natural sense of balance, without the need for any flight control mechanisms.
A full-resolution version of NASA's Curiosity Rover descent to Mars set to Beethoven's 5th Symphony:
Breathtaking footage from Kenya, East Africa by the talented videographer Devin Graham:
Enjoy the beauty of the underwater world to the music of "Full Sail" by Ryan Farish.
Magician Marcel Kalisvaart with his amazing performance at the "Cirque d'Hiver Bouglione" in Paris, France:
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.